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The Writers

If you are in Southern California, DO NOT MISS Mehfil Massive - an evening of poetry and music of the South Asian Diaspora. And you know what? It’s free!

Wednesday April 23, 2014 | 7:30 — 9:30 p.m. |Bovard Auditoirum, University of Southern California (3551 Trousdale Parkway Los Angeles, CA 90089)

RSVP HERE: http://web-app.usc.edu/ws/eo2/calendar/113/event/903819

Join Kaya Press and the USC Visions & Voices Arts & Humanities Initiative for a night of incredible artistic collaboration: Legendary South Asian musicians and poets will come together to celebrate and investigate the rich diversity of South Asian spiritual influences. From ghazals set to music and sung throughout the Muslim world to Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize—winning Gitanjali (Prayer Offering of Song), collaborations between poets and musicians have been a staple of South Asian religious life for centuries. In Mughal courts, nightly mehfils brought these performers together and elevated their collaborations to high art. This tradition will get a 21st-century update in a landmark evening featuring performances by internationally renowned diasporic South Asian artists including Sufi-influenced rock guitarist Salman Ahmad, vocalist and ten-string double-violin master Gingger Shankar, Mumbai-based dubstep DJ Bandish Projekt and hip hop artist and producer Brooklyn Shanti in collaboration with award-winning poets Kazim Ali, Tarfia Faizullah, Bhanu Kapil, Mandeep Sethi and Amarnath Ravva.The evening will be hosted by comedian/writer/performance artist D’Lo.

I can’t figure out my bizarre fascination with Lance Cantstopolis and Asif Ali (from Goatface Comedy) dancing in their version of 80s erotic MTV music video style. Yes, it is a style. It’s something about how Asif licks his fingers or how Lance’s pelvic thrusts are so serious. I don’t want it…but I want it… but I don’t. You know? 

The song is Lance I of IV. I can’t wait to see what happens in II & III. And of course, what else Goatface comes out with.

Himanshu Made a Japanese Commercial for Vitamin Water, and It’s Hilarious

.Everyone has a Japanese commercial…even Himanshu of Das Racist fame. Check out the commercial. And when can I get my Vitamin Water deal?

Jazz to Bollywood to Disco

The other day I was listening to a YouTube playlist of song, mostly disco, made by SalSoul Records. I’ve been trying to get into disco, thinking about making some disco music myself. 

I was struck by one song (below)

I frantically  looked for this one old Bollywood hit my mom used to sing all the time (below, it starts around 2:00). 

I was super excited to confirm that this 1979 disco beat had similarities to this bollywood song from the 1971. It also got me thinking about this podcast that I heard awhile ago by afropoplive (below, transcript here

The article talks about black Jazz musicians who came to Bollywood in the early twentieth century (a history I’d imagine Bollywood might not want to admit given the rampant anti-Blackness in India) and helped lay the groundwork for a lot of the Bollywood songs we hear today. 

Listening to this discoesque song which borrowed from bollywood which was informed by jazz. It makes me wonder who is really borrowing from whom and where the lines cultural appropriation are, taking into consideration migration and racial power dynamics. 

-Uliya at uliyamusic.com 

It could be that the word “Jugni” just connotes the feminine for Jugnu, the firefly. Some believe Jugni refers to Jogins, wandering women mystics and sufis who sang and danced their way through the countryside of late medieval Punjab, heralding an eccentric liberation of spirits, bodies and desires for women as well as men. To some, the Jugni is a set of beads in a rosary, that stand in for the mysterious and inscrutable alphabets that dot the scriptures, cryptic reminders and mementoes of ineffable hopes and longings. According to other accounts, two gallant young balladeers, Manda and Bishna, a Muslim and a Sikh, began singing “jugni” when a torch meant to signify the jubilee of Queen Victoria’s reign passed belatedly through the Punjab in 1906. The poets followed the jubilee torch, raising a sardonic, questioning voice against the oppression of colonial rule.

Whatever its origins, in songs Jugni is also the name of a wandering, restless woman, who lives by her own rules, asks awkward questions, makes strong subversive demands, and laughs, dances, cries and takes lovers when and where she wants. In these songs, Jugni is a woman in command of her self and her body; she celebrates her desires, learns new tongues and words and makes her way through the world, through the night.

…..

Jugni is the woman who Honey Singh can’t yo-yo. Jugni is the woman who will slap Asaram Bapu and laugh at Mohan Bhagwat. Jugni is the woman who will demand the resignation of the police commissioner and tweet from her detention inside a police station. Jugni is the woman who can take tear gas and climb a lamp post and jump a barricade. Jugni is the woman who can dent Abhijit Mukherjee and paint the town red. Jugni doesn’t need Mamata or Sushma or Sonia or Sheila to weep for her and she doesn’t weep for them. Jugni is angry and Jugni is alive.

- Confronting the rules of rape: A new generation of women stakes it claim to freedom by Shuddhabrata Sengupta [via] (via pushinghoopswithsticks)

(via kalisherni)

An Acid Punk Bollywood Musical? YES PLEASE. Check out The Pink Sorrys Kickstarter video right here. You have until April 10th to support this short film to make it a pulp reality.

The Pink Sorrys is a short film that seeks to address these issues in stylized, kickass fashion. It is a blend of imagery from our favorite gangster films and our most-loved Bolly musicals.
We live in an era where celebrities can commit sexual assault and not only continue recording pop songs and making films, but being lauded for them. All we’re saying is let’s have at least one movie where a gang of women catch a bunch of rapists and beat the daylights out of them with cricket bats.

Also, a couple of Fast Facts from Team Sorrys:
We were Indiewire’s Project of the Day. 
Our lead actress was in House of Cards this season playing journalist Ayla Sayyad from the Wall Street Telegraph 
Tumblr loves us: "The Pink Sorrys needs to be made"- Browntourage
We shot a pretty neat teaser
Backers can score everything from art prints to custom letterman jackets in rewards
We made a gallery of Infographics that juxtaposition gender in film w/real life stats

Take a peek at the kickstarter video here, and contribute by April 10th! I personally can’t wait to see how the pulp punk Bollywood film will shape their narrative and tackle a complicated and hot topic issue.   High-res

An Acid Punk Bollywood Musical? YES PLEASE. Check out The Pink Sorrys Kickstarter video right here. You have until April 10th to support this short film to make it a pulp reality.

The Pink Sorrys is a short film that seeks to address these issues in stylized, kickass fashion. It is a blend of imagery from our favorite gangster films and our most-loved Bolly musicals.

We live in an era where celebrities can commit sexual assault and not only continue recording pop songs and making films, but being lauded for them. All we’re saying is let’s have at least one movie where a gang of women catch a bunch of rapists and beat the daylights out of them with cricket bats.

Also, a couple of Fast Facts from Team Sorrys:
  1. We were Indiewire’s Project of the Day
  2. Our lead actress was in House of Cards this season playing journalist Ayla Sayyad from the Wall Street Telegraph 
  3. Tumblr loves us: "The Pink Sorrys needs to be made"- Browntourage
  4. We shot a pretty neat teaser
  5. Backers can score everything from art prints to custom letterman jackets in rewards
  6. We made a gallery of Infographics that juxtaposition gender in film w/real life stats

Take a peek at the kickstarter video here, and contribute by April 10th! I personally can’t wait to see how the pulp punk Bollywood film will shape their narrative and tackle a complicated and hot topic issue.

Penn Masala's Evolution of Bollywood Music

I know the Penn Masala novelty may have passed a decade ago but as a classic Bollywood fan who grew up on Amitabh and Rekha I absolutely loved this.

From Penn Masala:

EVOLUTION OF BOLLYWOOD MUSIC

Bollywood music has changed immensely over the decades. We’ve seen legendary singers redefine genres, musical directors pushing the envelope with their arrangements, and the arts and culture of India thrive. Penn Masala was created 18 years ago to celebrate the impact that Bollywood has had on our lives, and to pay tribute to some of the timeless classics that we, our parents, and grandparents love. We hope you like our Evolution of Bollywood Music! Thanks to Pentatonix for the awesome idea!

SONGS

1940’s
Suhani Raat Dal Chuki - Dulari

1950’s
Mera Joota Hai Japani - Shree 420
Eeena Meena Deeka - Aasha

1960’s
Ajeeb Dastaan Hai Yeh - Dil Apna Aur Preet Parai
Aaja Aaja Main Hoon Pyaar Tera - Teesri Manzil
Roop Tera Mastana - Aradhana

1970’s
Hum Tum Ek Kamre Mein Band Hon - Bobby
Yeh Dosti - Sholay
Bachna Ae Haseeno - Hum Kisise Kum Naheen
Khaike Pan Banaraswala - Don

1980’s
Om Shanti Om - Karz
Inteha Ho Gayi Intezaar Ki - Sharaabi

1990’s
Pehla Nasha - Jo Jeeta Wohi Sikandar
Mehndi Laga Ke Rakhna - Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge
Muqabla - Humse Hai Muqabla
Dil To Pagal Hai - Dil To Pagal Hai
Chaiyya Chaiyya - Dil Se
Meri Mehbooba - Pardes
Koi Mil Gaya - Kuch Kuch Hota Hai
Tunak Tunak Tun - Dalar Mehndi
Dhol Bhaaje - Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam
Kahin Aag Lage - Taal

2000’s
Na Tum Jaano Na Hum - Kaho Na Pyaar Hai
Koi Kahe Kehta Rahe - Dil Chahta Hai
You Are My Soniya - Kabhi Khushi Kabhie Gham
Mitwa - Lagaan
Pretty Woman - Kal Ho Na Ho
Kajra Re - Bunty Aur Babli
Dhoom - Dhoom
Where’s the Party Tonight - Kabhi Alvida Naa Kehna
Mauja Hi Mauja - Jab We Met
Jai Ho - Slumdog Millionaire
Deewangi Deewangi - Om Shanti Om

2010’s
Munni Badnaam Hui - Dabangg
Sheila - Tees Maar Khan
Ooh La La - The Dirty Picture
Jiya Re - Jab Tak Hai Jaan
Dilli Walli Girflriend - Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani
Badtameez Dil - Yeh Jawaani Hai Deewani

NOTE: We created this song and music video over the span of multiple months, carefully picking and choosing pieces that were not only popular but defining of their respective genres/decades. Because of the nature of such a piece, we had to make some decisions to shorten and/or lengthen certain decades in order to fit musically. This is why certain songs are out of order in the timeline, and why the number indication may not be accurate to the specific song playing. We do hope that you enjoy the Evolution of Bollywood Music regardless, and please contact us if you have any further inquiries.

Arrangement by Penn Masala
Filmed with Chocolate Bar Studios - http://www.chocolatebarstudios.com/
Recorded and Produced by Studio Crash - http://www.studiocrash.com/

kayapress:

Join Kaya Press and the USC Visions & Voices Arts & Humanities Initiative for a night of incredible artistic collaboration: Legendary South Asian musicians and poets will come together to celebrate and investigate the rich diversity of South Asian spiritual influences. From ghazals set to music and sung throughout the Muslim world to Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize–winning Gitanjali (Prayer Offering of Song), collaborations between poets and musicians have been a staple of South Asian religious life for centuries. In Mughal courts, nightly mehfils brought these performers together and elevated their collaborations to high art.
This tradition will get a 21st-century update in a landmark evening featuring performances by internationally renowned diasporic South Asian artists including Sufi-influenced rock guitarist Salman Ahmad, vocalist and ten-string double-violin master Gingger Shankar, Mumbai-based dubstep DJ Bandish Projekt and hip hop artist and producer Brooklyn Shanti in collaboration with award-winning poets Kazim Ali, Tarfia Faizullah, Bhanu Kapil, Mandeep Sethi and Amarnath Ravva.The evening will be hosted by comedian/writer/performance artist D’Lo.
Mehfil Massive: South Asian Religions Remixed Through Poetry and Music
Wednesday April 23, 2014 | 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.
Bovard Auditoirum, University of Southern California (3551 Trousdale Parkway Los Angeles, CA 90089)
 Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP at the links below beginning Thursday, March 27, at 9 a.m. 
USC Students, Staff and Faculty: To RSVP, click here.General Public: To RSVP, click here.
For further information on this event:visionsandvoices@usc.edu
  High-res

kayapress:

Join Kaya Press and the USC Visions & Voices Arts & Humanities Initiative for a night of incredible artistic collaboration: Legendary South Asian musicians and poets will come together to celebrate and investigate the rich diversity of South Asian spiritual influences. From ghazals set to music and sung throughout the Muslim world to Rabindranath Tagore’s Nobel Prize–winning Gitanjali (Prayer Offering of Song), collaborations between poets and musicians have been a staple of South Asian religious life for centuries. In Mughal courts, nightly mehfils brought these performers together and elevated their collaborations to high art.

This tradition will get a 21st-century update in a landmark evening featuring performances by internationally renowned diasporic South Asian artists including Sufi-influenced rock guitarist Salman Ahmad, vocalist and ten-string double-violin master Gingger Shankar, Mumbai-based dubstep DJ Bandish Projekt and hip hop artist and producer Brooklyn Shanti in collaboration with award-winning poets Kazim AliTarfia FaizullahBhanu KapilMandeep Sethi and Amarnath Ravva.The evening will be hosted by comedian/writer/performance artist D’Lo.

Mehfil Massive: South Asian Religions Remixed Through Poetry and Music

Wednesday April 23, 2014 | 7:30 – 9:30 p.m.

Bovard Auditoirum, University of Southern California (3551 Trousdale Parkway Los Angeles, CA 90089)

 Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP at the links below beginning Thursday, March 27, at 9 a.m. 

USC Students, Staff and Faculty: To RSVP, click here.
General Public: To RSVP, click here.

For further information on this event:
visionsandvoices@usc.edu

(via mutinousmindstate)